Stedman Bailey is down to his last strike after his second suspension in two years. Jasen Vinlove USA TODAY Sports
Wide receiver Stedman Bailey is down to his final strike with the St. Louis Rams after he was suspended four games by the NFL on Monday for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
"A setback for us from an offensive standpoint. A setback from a special teams standpoint," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "I've had numerous conversations with 'Sted' -- he understands that this is his last go-around. If he wants to flourish in this league and have a career in this league, he's gonna have to change his lifestyle."
Bailey, a third-year receiver out of West Virginia, also was suspended last year for a similar violation. His latest ban further depleted a passing game that ranks last in the NFL and led to the signing of veteran Wes Welker on Monday.
"Once you go in the testing program, if you have another violation, then you're going to be subject to whatever the circumstances are. You can't take it lightly," Fisher said. "He's letting the team down and we're going to miss him for four weeks, and hopefully he'll learn from his choices."
Bailey, who has 12 receptions for 183 yards in eight games, will be eligible to return to the active roster on Dec. 7. His suspension came one week after running back Trey Watts drew a four-game ban for the same violation.
"It's been a problem here for us the last couple of weeks," Fisher said. "We've lost two pretty good players. We've got to do whatever we can to get that message across to them."